Affordable housing complex planned

Many Dallas residents don't make enough money to buy a house, yet make too much to qualify for subsidized housing. For those who fall in between, help could be on the way.



DALLAS -- Many Dallas residents don't make enough money to buy a house, yet make too much to qualify for subsidized housing. For those who fall in between, help could be on the way.

The Polk Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit developer originally affiliated with the Polk County Housing Authority, has plans for a 40-unit affordable family housing development in Dallas.

The project, to be located on 3.3 acres north of the SE Davis and SE Dimick intersection, would provide two- and three-bedroom apartments in duplex-style units.

Architect Sara G. Bergsund designed the project with livability in mind, working around existing giant trees, reserving open spaces, and creating a community building for the residents.

The Dallas City Council voted on Aug. 6 to apply for a $225,000 state development grant. The grant would allow Dallas to make the street, sewer and water improvements needed for a new development.

City Councilor Brian Dalton expressed enthusiasm toward the project. "It's taking one of the most underdeveloped areas in the core of Dallas and turning it into exceptionally nice housing for working families," he said.

Dalton believes the design would create a sense of community not found in warehouse-type apartment buildings. "They have porches, no front garages dominating the buildings, gathering areas, playgrounds -- there's a sense of openness.

"These are homes people can get attached to," he said.

The Polk Community Development Corporation would work closely with Geller Silvis & Associates throughout the project.

Rent for the units would range from $469 to $553 per month, Anna Geller said. The plans call for 19 two-bedroom and 21 three-bedroom apartments.

The development would be called Woodbridge Meadow. A wooden replica of the Ritner Creek covered bridge near Pedee would cover a playground walkway.

Rita Grady is the acting executive director of the Polk CDC. "Our mission is to promote development in the community," Grady said. "We've specialized in affordable housing development in Dallas for 13 years."

Grady expects the project to be completed by December 2002.

The City's staff has worked on the Woodbridge Meadow project for more than a year, City Manager Roger Jordan said. He believes the development would challenge some misconceptions about affordable housing.

"It would improve the whole area for the neighborhood," Jordan said. "We'd have a type of housing project here we could be very proud of."



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